It involves this happy fellow.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to Friday, September 21st.
9:58pm – Crandle calls a certain gentleman (it’s the happy guy, obvi) to pick her up.
10:11pm – Gentleman: “Crandle, where are you? I don’t see you anywhere.”
10:20pm – Crandle: ….
10:22pm – Crandle: “Um. Oops.”
10:47pm – Gentleman arrives at DFW Airport to pick up Crandle.
Okay, I’m skipping ahead.
(Friday, September 21st, 11:37pm – Crandle becomes the happiest lady alive. Look, I got engaged! Don’t pry anymore! We need to get to know each other better first.)
Back to food and stuff–Ah, Dallas. I never thought I could be fond of Dallas, but it’s happened! It took one of the most memorable moments of my life to do it, but so it is. Don’t tell the Houstonians, okay?
On Saturday, the gentleman and I walked around Oak Lawn–it’s a pretty hip neighborhood just north of downtown Dallas. I think it’s one of the only places in Texas where you “walk around” even when you’re not in dire straits–the situation, not the band.
We went to Lucky’s Cafe.
They have an artist, Dale Moses, who paints everything! Dogs, chickens, other dogs, etc. For real, though, I liked his stuff. And since we drank this the night before,
We were so prepared for these.
Open-faced ham steak sandwich with a pile of artery blockage, no extra charge. I don’t know how he does it.
Breakfast tacos from heaven. The Tex-Mex version of migas. (Don’t worry, we’ll make these in an upcoming post.) It’s basically fried bits of corn tortillas cooked with scrambled eggs, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and cheese (duh), served with refried beans (with cheese), papas (breakfast potatoes), and a happy little bundle of flour tortillas. And salsa, of course. You’re meant to make them into breakfast tacos–or not. The power is yours, planeteers.
Perhaps the nostalgia that gets me going about migas is the same thing that got the Roomz going about pupusas last weekend (before I was the happiest woman alive, but was still pretty happy). To her, they are a magical place. To me, they are stuffed tortillas (okay, a magical place).
Pupusas are El Salvadorian, the Roomz says. Apparently I take a lot on faith from this woman, but she seems trustworthy. She used to eat pupusas at an El Salvadorian joint in Long Island–who’d have thought?
Basically, what you do to make a pupusa is get masa, or masa de maiz, which is super finely-ground corn flour. Well, masa harina.
I learned a lot about masa harina from theKitchn. For example, I didn’t realize it was soaked in lime water before being ground. That may only be interesting to those of us who are food geeks, but anyway. All you do is mix the masa with water and salt until it has the consistency of Play-Doh, then roll it into a ball, stuff it with stuffings of your choice, then fry it in (just a little bit of) oil. To stuff em, just make a ball, then use your thumbs to poke a hole, then stuff the hole with stuffing, then close it up again and flatten it out like a pancake.
I demolished mine with salsa, but nice, reserved northerners like the Roomz eat them with vinegar based cole-slaws. Like I said, the power is yours.
I’m not going to say these are like tamales, but they are reminiscent of tamales–the corniness, the stuffedness. And I’m imagining a future that involves pupusas covered with Texas chili, which would elevate them much closer to tamale status for those of you who are hooked on TexMex–and they’re so easy! I’m telling you, you can make these so quickly, and they can be so easily adapted.
We stuffed ours with beans and chicken and corn and cheese, but you could do anything, really. I’m actually thinking about a sweet version that has cinnamon and sugar…and honey. Or an apple cider version. Come on, I know it’s a complete bastardization of the whole concept, but we can just call it El Salvadorian-New English Fusion. Somebody try it!
Adapted from theKitchn, one of the Roomz’s favorite blogs.
1 T vegetable oil
3 cups of masa harina
2 cups water
¼ t salt (you may want less if you’re using a sauce or a salty filling)
Fillings: refried beans, for example, or seasoned chicken (we put some sauteed onions, jalapenos, and chili powder in with some leftover rotisserie chicken–let your heart be your guide), or corn and cheese. We had mozzarella laying around, so we threw it in. I’m imagining spinach, chorizo, or barbacoa would be pretty delicious, too. If the Roomz weren’t such a pansy (jk, jk), we would have added pickled jalapenos to some of them.
1. Mix the pupusa dough. Roll them out. Stuff them. Flatten them out. Snuggle them together on a tray and heat the oven to 250 F to keep the hot ones hot (once you cook them, not now, while they’re dough).
2. Fry a few at a time over medium-high heat, until they get little blackish blisters and a brown crust (they sound a bit hollow when you tap them). If you’re not sure if they’re done–taste a piece! It shouldn’t have a raw, starchy flavor if it’s fully cooked.
3. Make it into a meal: Serve with curtido (slaw), as they do on theKitchn, or corrupt it with your own ways–steamed broccoli, spinach salad, a steaming layer of chili–the pupusa is your palette.
And finally, live your life. O_O
I know I am!